GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Western Michigan University's regional state-of the-art manufacturing laboratory is receiving three new pieces of Autocam Medical manufacturing equipment this month to help build its prototyping capabilities.
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Laboratory, or the AMP Lab @ WMU, in downtown Grand Rapids, received its first machine, a CNC 5 Axis Mill that enables the machining of complex parts using a wide range of modular tools, on Sept. 3.
The CNC 5 weighs more than 20,000 pounds and required removal of one of the windows facing Cherry Street and two cranes in order to move into the building and to its final spot in the Showcase/Prototyping Lab.
The machine sits about seven feet below street level so pedestrians passing by are able to watch it in action from above on the sidewalk.
Autocam Medical is a key stakeholder for the AMP Lab and committed to installing three pieces of machinery on the ground floor. The Showcase/Prototyping Lab will be a working lab where Autocam Medical and students will both be able to produce prototypes of their designs.
The lab and was developed in collaboration with Grand Rapids Community College and several manufacturing companies in the Grand Rapids area. The facility opened in 2018 and is currently in use by WMU graduate students in engineering programs and GRCC students in associate degree programs. Additional partnerships and programs are being planned for the facility.
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